Seattle Mariners: 5 Roster Changes That Need to Happen ASAP
For the first time in my 20 years of living, I had to witness an opposing team celebrate a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners.
Needless to say, it was tough to watch. In all honesty though, I am kind of shocked that it just now happened. We have had the worst offense in baseball for three years now, and if today is any indication on how the rest of the season is going to go, then that won't be changing anytime soon.
With that being said, it is time for the Mariners' front office to wake up and make roster changes. They don't necessarily have to cut people and go out and pick up an aging free agent (even though that's not a bad idea at this point), but they need to do something to try to spark the offense, let alone show that they want to win ball games.
Here's five possible solutions to kick starting that whole "offense" thing that I'm pretty sure teams are supposed to have...
* Stats are from MLB.com and Baseball-Reference.com.
1. Call Up Carp and Start Him Immediately
Mike Carp has been out with a shoulder injury since the first game of the season in Japan. He started his rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on April 13th, and is batting a measly .133 in his eight games.
As bad as that may sound, this guy has proven he has what it takes to make it in the major leagues. His rehab assignment should be coming to an end in the next game or two whether his bat is coming around or not.
With as many players as we have who can play various positions, it would be of no problem to get him in the lineup the day he's called up. It could be at DH, first, or left, anything to get some run production. I think this is the one without a doubt move we see very shortly. If not, all hope is lost.
He may not be a bona fide impact bat like the Mariners offense is so desperately in need of, but his bat would be an instant upgrade over two-thirds of the current starters. Not to mention his .133 minor league average is just as good as two current players on the big league club receiving significant playing time.
2. Swap Olivo and Jaso's Roles
With that being said, Miguel Olivo is batting .125. Yes, .125!
Yet, he has still played in all but one of Seattle's games. I understand having him in because he is good with game management for our young pitchers, but sooner or later Wedge has to realize that his bat is a huge liability.
There are two catchers on the bench that are producing better than him, one who hasn't even got a legitimate chance to prove himself. That player would be John Jaso. With Montero primarily being a DH for now, it's time for Jaso to get his time behind the plate.
I'll admit that I was pretty skeptical when they traded Josh Lueke for him in the offseason, especially after they traded for Montero, but he is proving me wrong so far. In fact, in his three games he's started this year, he has done nothing but impress the fans.
In his first game, all he did was ignite a huge comeback against the AL best, Texas Rangers. In his second game he hit his first home run of the year, a two-run shot, and then added another RBI later on in the game. Finally, in his third start, he knocked in what should have been the game-winning run, before League blew his first save of the season.
After his three starts his stat line was: .273 AVG, 1 HR, 5 RBI in 11 at bats.
When you compare that to Olivo who has a .125 AVG, 0 HR, 3 RBI in 48 at bats, you can clearly see my point.
3. Move Seager to Shortstop and Put in Liddi
As much as I love Brendan Ryan's love for the game and his great defense, his offense is also becoming a liability. He is batting .200, and though we saw last year that he is capable of getting hot, the chances of him becoming a key player isn't very likely. Especially with the top of the lineup being pretty much set for the time being.
Ryan's backup of course is, Munenori Kawaski. As much as I was rooting for him to become a surprise breakout player, it looks like he's going to be about as good as scouts were saying when he decided to come to the United States for baseball. He is fun to watch, but unfortunately that alone can't win ball games.
So with the lack of production at shortstop, why not move Kyle Seager over from third?
He has clearly earned his spot in the everyday lineup has he has been one of the few consistent players the team has had thus far. With a slight background playing short, I think this a move worth a shot. He played ten games last years at the Major League level, and played 41 games there in his two and a half years in the Minors. His glove isn't the best, but if it's good enough to be inserted in there right now, it'll be good enough if moved.
Besides, offense is the main goal here.
And that's why Alex Liddi needs to get his shot. He hasn't really got much playing time this season due to his youth and the depth in front of him at third, but now that the offense has shown that it's not moving out of neutral it's time for the kid to get his shot. He hit 30 homeruns in AAA last season, and though that doesn't always translate, why would you not give him the chance to get out there everyday, get in a rhythm and see what happens.
We saw what happened to Carp last season when he finally got in the everyday lineup and Liddi was much more highly regarded coming up.
It might not work, but it is definitely worth the shot. Besides, having a young player sit on the bench is not helping his development whatsoever.
4. Give Iwakuma the Ball More
This move has to happen after the his outing on Friday night.
Being as highly sought after as he was two years ago when he expressed interest coming out of Japan, the M's practically stole him this offseason due to the fact that he was coming off an arm injury. People were worried that he wouldn't pan out like they thought so they laid off of him, but the Mariners took the risk.
Unfortunately, until last night, he had yet to throw a pitch in the regular season. In fact he was the last player who was on an Opening Day roster to get some playing time.
Nevertheless, he made his presence known as he went four innings, only giving up one hit. The one hit, happened to be a bomb to Adam Dunn, but it was still an impressive outing. He also recorded two strikeouts, to only one walk.
I'd honestly like to see him work his way into the rotation at some point this season, which could happen if Noesi struggles like he did that game. Also, the Kevin Millwood experiment is bound to unravel at some point during the year.
Being a starter his whole career, right now we'll probably only get to see him in long relief, but if he continues to pitch like that of last night, it won't be long until we see the ball in his hand every few days.
When that time comes, Mariners fans won't be disappointed.
5. Call Up Carlos Peguero
Obviously, this can't happen right now due to the fact that he's injured, but as the title states, this needs to happen as soon as possible.
Peguero was absolutely crushing the ball in the first three games. He was 7-10, with two HR, a triple, a double and four RBI. The best part of it all was that he only struck out one time.
If you followed the Mariners much last year, you know that was the biggest problem with him and ultimately resulted in him being demoted. I mean the guy struck out 35 percent of the time, or every third at bat. If his early season was any sign of him understanding the concept of plate discipline, then his emergence in the Seattle lineup is a must.
Even if he doesn't bat .300-plus, I'd much rather watch him go up there and hit hard liners for outs than seeing weak ground balls and pop-ups that I've come accustomed to with this team.
Once he recovers from his injury, I would hope that it's just a matter of at-bats before he is called up and given his chance once again to prove himself in the show.